Incompleteness and the Void

…from the standpoint of the incompleteness of reality, we can even make a step further and claim that, at the very bottom, there is all the room we want, since there is nothing else there, just the void.

Slavoj Zizek,  Less Than Nothing

Truth is neither relative nor not, it is part of a cultural evaluation, a shared or consensus datum; whereas fact is just there, neither truthful nor a lie: it just is – it is outside cultural appraisal and its linguistic tremors. Take quantum physics… it is incomplete, it has taken us into the limits of macro-micro physics where our instruments cannot go further at the moment… after the failure of instruments comes theory: mathematical theorems that invent the possibility of reality, then test the theory against the facts we have or the missing facts we do not (i.e., dark matter, dark energy, etc. – all metaphors for the missing matter and energy our instruments fail to discover, but that our current mathematical models say should be there, etc.)…. but not all the facts are in yet. As humans we may always fail because our brain being an evolutionary product of kludgy millennia was constructed bit by bit to help our organism to survive and propagate, not to understand itself or the cosmos. We are limited by this process so we produce nice little fictions and call them truth to assuage our less than adequate knowledge of the universe and ourselves.

Every generation solidifies and codifies reality into its current matrix of linguistic insights as part of its cultural power and politics. On a planet such as ours we are in the midst of a chaotic reevaluation of those truths that have guided the multiplex of cultures across the millennia. In this age old conflict of ideas and concepts there will be in some future yet to be determined a partial resolution and the emergence of a truly intelligent global culture that will not be a unity or One, but will incorporate the best and most inventive ideas and concepts into a new order of collaboration and consensus. Not all will agree with it as none do now, but it will shape the direction of our fallible projects in the sciences and arts as it has in the past. That is if we survive the war of ideas in our time without obliterating ourselves.

Some would have us believe that Intelligence is emerging out of its organic cradle and into some as yet to be known form, whether into a new substrate or part of the collective intelligence of human and machinic phylum’s. The sciences and philosophies surrounding this emergence reduce it to various forms of post-humanist thought. It’s this battle over posthumanism that is at the forefront of current debates in the academy as elsewhere. Humanity as we’ve come to know it through the various traditions of humanism, both secular and religious is in the offing. The slow and methodical deconstruction and destruction of the humanist credos has since the Enlightenment and its offshoots in secular modernity been eroding to the point that in our time we are in the midst of a sea-change in thought and culture across our planet. We loosely use terms like post-modernity, post-humanism, etc. because we lack the intellectual courage or breadth of inventiveness to define what comes next, but instead we haggle over our intellectual heritage and milieu as if it were a great cock fight full of bloody campaigns. The sciences as well as philosophy have come under scrutiny and both have been found wanting, the one offering only the empirical and pragmatic truth of what works; the other the eternal war of ideas without end. There can be no victors in such a vein war of contrition, only losers.

We are all caught in the grips of cognitive biases we barely understand, and for the most part do not admit to ourselves. We all live by certain enabling fictions which guide our thought and life, we can do no other; some promote life, some death; some harbor fanatical claims against the world in forms of literalistic compulsions and mandates that have lead many astray and into wars. Our leaders use our emotional connections to certain deep seated ideas, images, and concepts to attract us and sway us into conflict. Even our political spectrum is a world of absolute antagonism and war over ideas and reality. Maybe this will never end, or will end only when humanity is no more. And that’s the problem, isn’t it? Will we ever discover how to live among each others cultural worlds without hate and death; or, are we condemned to continual annihilation of any and all who do not agree with our ideas. The great cynics tell us we are doomed to defeat, that we will never produce a world in which humans can share equitably the fruits of mind and earth alike. I do no know, do you? Maybe in the end we stand between the incompleteness of the universe and the silence of the Void. That is all. No answer, no justification; only the incomprehensible mystery.

I’ve often thought that the incursions of all the radical madness in our culture: ghost hunter craze, Alien conspiracies, mass killings, suicides, strange cults, etc. are registering a sea-change in the underpsyche of the planet that barely goes noticed in the elite-o-sphere of mediatainment, unless we think of all the craze for disaster movies, zombies, superhero comic theatre, etc. We seem to be undergoing a mutation by enforced futurial retrocausation that is pushing us to the limits of our human potential for fear, terror, and horror. Soon we will see the cracks in the Real begin to unravel allowing the access to portals between mental regimes, movements between multidimensional time-frames in which the imaginal and the psychotic reveal the underlying mechanisms of our universal decay and metamorphosis. For as many have suggested we are in a duo process of acceleration/deceleration on different planes of immanence: the zigzag rhizome of our psyches is speeding up (heating up), and slowing down in various modes of time loops, registering the impact of this incursion from the Outside in. All the while the so called Orthodox realist controllers try their best to screen out this process through a massive propaganda system of denial and reterritorialization (D&G). And, yet, around the edges of their system the heterodox truth is breaking through… the unraveling/deterritorialization of two-thousand years of the monotheistic unity of religious and philosophical vision is ending… what comes next is anyone’s surmise.

1 thought on “Incompleteness and the Void

  1. Really coming to terms with transience, yet briefly holding onto what we truly love and value whilst we can, seems to me a real and crucial challenge. Don Cupitt has some interesting things to say about such an approach.

    Liked by 1 person

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