Breaking the Vessels: Beyond the Privatized Mind


What mind does is to structure the universe to which it belongs, and structure is the very register of intelligibility as pertaining to the world and intelligence.

—Reza Negarestani, Intelligence and Spirit

As a young man my access to networks of information outside my circle was limited to physical libraries and bookstores, much less one’s access to a stream of thinkers, poets, critics, artists, philosophers, etc. One was for the most part bound to the local and limited confines (prison?) of one’s time and place. This is a truism, yet in our age with the capacity to enter varied networks and cognitive societies that test the limits of one’s memory and consciousness we’ve begun to mutate into another type of being altogether; and, yet, this overloaded world of networked, deprivatized and collective intelligence (Geist?) is displacing the old cues that grounded us in our local physical worlds. We seem to co-habit shared worlds, a multi-verse of intelligence, at once distributed and collective to the point that we no longer have stable regulated lives within a structured universe of meaning. Instead we seem to be inventing the conditions for the emergence of something else, something new: the collective agency of an empowered intelligence of which we all are physically and spiritually connected.

This new sociality of agents seen from the outside in reverses and dismantle the age old culture bound and segmenting tribal consciousness that produced the great monomaniacal visions of the monotheistic religious and political worlds of both Medieval and Modern social systems. Modernity was a stage of distancing, of distanciation, a first step in abstracting and subtracting ourselves from the ancient worldview that adapted us to sex and survival. And, yet, it did not go far enough, it carried over the ancient tribality that allowed us to redeem traditions from each culture in a corrupt form of economic and cultural enchainment. Secular mythologies replaced the religious, and in turn have imprisoned us in errors to which the various new philosophies of materialisms and realisms are trying to extract and subtract us.

Yet, the only way out of modernity is through it rather than some ill-founded escape into a groundless utopia, we must think through the deep and constraining, necessitarian issues that bind us to these outmoded forms of intelligence and memory. Only then can we emerge into a new world of shared and collective intelligence, a distributive world of cognitive communities. Because the speed of intelligence and time invariance of our predicament has pushed the privatized consciousness to the wall. What we are seeking now is to empower the deprivatized and distributed consciousness of memory and time to produce both the problems and their criticality to the point of invention. We have no other path forward, and the future of our species depends on it.

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