The Ancient Sublime

What about those devoured by the flames within them?

—E. M. Cioran On the Heights of Despair

As you know if you’ve followed me for a while I’ve studied both the deep routes of pessimism and nihilism to their conclusion. That we are living in the age of completed nihilism under computational and surveillance capitalism etc. I’ve realized in the end one can either live with the bare and unadulterated truth of our insignificance in an indifferent cosmos or not. We all have our delusions and anchors, diversions and false trails; and, yet, without these we are nothing, nothing at all. So what if all our ancestral struggles for knowledge and wisdom comes to naught? What if it was all a nice pretty lie to keep us going? So? Shall we just sit in this nothingness and weep? Or shall we begin again to reconnect to these deep roots and routes of the human mind and intellect, affect and the irrational? Or just hollow out the linguistic traces like good late idiot philosophers and horror writers and strip the world of its human meaning, and along with it humans themselves? I guess in the end this path is no longer of use to me while the sublime world of art and thought keeps me interested.

If one is not enthused about something one is already dead. I choose to continue… and, yes, I’m not an anti-natalist nor a full blown heroic or unheroic pessimist. Both these lead to uncreation and suicide of the singular and universal thing we call the human. In many ways pessimism is the central philosophy of capitalism rather than its antagonist. Sadly capitalism in the extreme leads to both an anti-life and a world indifferent to human want and need. At heart it is driven by calculation and risk the twin operatives of a world of pure death in the Freudian sense of absolute circulation and repetition. Maybe it comes down to William Blake’s notion “70 years a worm and then we die,” that’s the truth of it nothing more. But what we do with those seventy years is produce something that is not the universe… an anti-world filled with art, music, and life. That’s our truth… accept or reject it. It matters not. But it gives our life meaning even if it is all a sweet lie. That’s all we have: our lies against time and death. That is the central truth of the ancient Sublime…