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Sunday, January 31, 2016

a single tendency, a human strategy, aphorism 425


My worth is as indefinable and invisible as God: it is that single tendency manifested through all my contradictions and reversals.  It is an immaterial spirit in that there is no instance available to the senses; rather this spirit is the sum total of all instances, positive and negative, available to a higher faculty … to a repository of cumulative instances … of repetition.  Unseen by the eye, it remains a consequence of that eye … is higher than that eye.

Ego is ballast

“Voluntary” is behavior that the memory holds dear. Bad memories are of the “involuntary,” someone else’s fault. Bad memories project our innocence; good memories, our merit.

Fifth generation, born into a culture trap:

I don’t think that any person sufficiently experienced with fearless honesty is that enamored with truth.  What you don’t know … is creeping up on you.  And what you know has already got you. 
It needs to be enough to experience the other definition of “petrified” ... to be solid … to be stone. Ironic, that this realism emerges as a hope.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 259


Anyone for whom the loss of morality remains – “nothing is forbidden” – has yet to begin.  For if he is sincere, his next question is inevitable: “But then, if nothing is forbidden what shall I do with this greater range of possibilities?”  And wouldn't he be foolish not to cull out of this mess the greatest of available possibilities?  And in doing so, does he not also appeal to a standard for judgment? ... to the fact that within a view supposedly without values, he has already projected a value ... even if he expresses it as, “Nihilism is superior to this counterfeit morality” ... ?  In short, he requires a discipline equal to the task presented by the overwhelming possibilities presented by nihilism -- and this is a moral event.  

This is a contradiction of course, but then the nihilist and the moralist are only conceptual opposites; they are also however stages within a single behavioral sequence.  The loss of an existing morality brings with it the realization that “anything goes,” but which in turn releases a greater number of possibilities for which it then requires a greater discipline to master ...  a greater personal morality with which to bring one's highest possibility within one's own control.  
Even if one proposes the pursuit of pleasure, one quickly faces obstacles or unpleasant consequences one had not anticipated, and thus the pursuit of pleasure itself quickly requires a strategic approach in order to secure the greatest degree and type of pleasure in one's next attempt at indulgence.   Thus, to say that there is a choice within an intelligent nihilist's view quickly presents a contradiction to the intellect, for to make a choice presupposes a standard for judgment, and a standard for judgment is a morality. It does not matter if we call it, “Ethics,” “knack,” “nihilism,” “harness,” “honor,” “supreme pleasure,” etc., ...  We resolve competing values and, resolving them, presuppose a standard, or, to take a more fundamental perspective, projectors of value -- and this remains true whether or not one is conscious of the valuation. 

For example, in fleeing from institutional morality, the nihilist cuts every cord.  He requires “nothing is forbidden” in order to free himself, but once outside of those walls, he is confronted with the choice, “Where next?”  He sees “living life to the fullest” as a wise goal and can no longer admit himself to be a nihilist, in the sense that he requires a self-strategy which is more worthy of the air-vibration -- “Morality” -- than is that institutional harness he has just gnawed through.  The same sorts of straps and buckles with which his institutions had harnessed him to their own ends, he now requires to harness himself to his own highest possible gratification.  But first he had to free himself from institutional “morality.”  

We could come upon the greatest moralist of all time, and we should not doubt that the majority will consider him an advocate of nihilism and not our guide through it.  For he knew that we could only follow him into nihilism but not out again.  His morality is herd-independent.  It is one's necessarily private strategy toward self-control, clarity of thought, and self-affirming achievement.  Therefore his greatest message was “Nothing is forbidden” ... but he knew that that was far from the truth, that it was only the necessary door away from him and toward our own genuine morality.

Friday, January 29, 2016

the great invisible God, a human strategy, aphorism 426


Only the great invisible God, the God which has no other gods before it — repetition — can save.  As far as I can see from here, it is the only perspective on reality capable of worship.  It is the only reality which reconciles “mind” and “the immediate surface.”  It is not a third reality next to the material and the mental, that is, the immediate and the illusory, but is the bridge across the two.  It is where and how they overlap.  It makes “mind” necessary to the reality.  All other perspectives fail.  The “mind” alone is quixotic.  The “immediate” is incomprehensible and leaves one desperate and humiliated.  Repetition has the simplicity and strength to recline in beauty but which nonetheless remains incorruptible.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

integrity, The Mechanics of Virtue, 260


As moralists, we believed that because we craved integrity, we must therefore have been capable of it.  Now that we mechanists believe we are incapable of integrity, we feel we ought not to crave it.  Thus, even as nihilists we imagine that we sponge away our physiology when we scratch an equation on the chalkboard.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

faith, a human strategy, aphorism 427


When we reach the state where all adjustments are petty, where we no longer seem to be building, but merely picking up after ourselves, yet find ourselves ascending, then we have faith.  We are close.  Formerly, we had no energy for reality, yet fancied we could move mountains.

Monday, January 25, 2016

luck and misfortune, a human strategy, aphorism 428


While it is true that good luck intoxicates: One thinks backwards ... always vainly, as in I did this, or I was like that and therefore I was rewarded.  It is also true however that misfortune sobers.  Disaster crushes all scaffolding to the ground.  One stands again upon the unyielding surface and no longer builds oneself upon promises or fortune.  One has at last found something solid to stand upon ... is perhaps even grateful.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

our nihilism, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 262


After we have fallen through our moral systems a sufficient number of times, we might decide to bring along a bright torch for the inevitable fall into the next abyss.  We want to record the event and understand it.  But this discipline presupposes a moral framework with which to evaluate our alleged nihilistic experience ... but these too are creaking boards that we back away from ... we back away from the hint that added to the difficulty of morality, we have no right even to our nihilism, and so once again we test only the boards of morality.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

a harder reality, a human strategy, aphorism429


Disappointment, one absolutely must pass through the eye of this needle if one is to live within the walls of a harder reality.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Mechanist's Morality, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 263


  1. He who knows that humans are only animals and acts accordingly is not very human.

  2. He who believes that there is a ghost in the machine is too human.

  3. He who attempts to engineer that intoxication referred to as the human spirit is the exception which redeems the rule.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

disappointment, a human strategy, aphorism 430


Disappointment is proportionate to desire and hope.  It has nothing to do with the actual scope of the enterprise.  A man can suffer greatly over a rotten garden tomato.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Virtue, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 264


Virtue, (1) a knowledge that the ladder of human rank is an illusion and so one steps aside as others clamber up or fall down; this of course creates the further illusion that one proposes humility precisely where one takes pride in holding to the first rank of wisdom (2) a cause of pride that stops just shy of continuing as an effect of pride (3) the strength to wear a mask of inverted hypocrisy, where one’s pretending to a vice spares another from the crushing awareness of an unavoidable shortcoming.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

our mind and reality, a human strategy, aphorism 431


Only “mind” perceives a whole and that “mind” is an error.  When it ceases to err, when this hollow vase shatters against an unyielding reality, the heavens themselves seem to fly apart and our sky is littered with shards.  But soon we make our universe whole again ... rise above our own species and secure the perfect movements of our stars.  That is to say, of the two, we lean toward the more beautiful madness.

Friday, January 15, 2016

a single virtue, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 265


To grow a single virtue to its highest potential one must not only preserve the mulch of a few vices but prune competing virtues as well.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

certainties, a human strategy, aphorism 432


I may very well have no new, bright and shining hopes but will keep these few old and unburnished certainties.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

drive for dominance, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 266


a) Why is it easier to give up the goal of self-righteous behavior than the principle of integrity?  

b) It is easier to condemn another's transparent drive for dominance than to accept that one’s condemnation is of the same drive. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

the public truth vs. the private truth, a human strategy, aphorism 433


The Public Truth: In victory, we accept the bestowal of meaning and elevated purpose.

The Private Truth: In defeat, we console ourselves that public loss is ultimately meaningless and impermanent.

Monday, January 11, 2016

a responsible skeptic, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 267


The task of a responsible skeptic is similar to the sculptor's, every chisel blow declaring, “I am not this and not that” ... and what he leaves untouched and in full form is human in all its beauty and power.  What usually happens with skepticism, however, is that the display of the skeptic becomes the goal.  The form hidden in the marble remains incidental to the unconscious goal of skeptical display.  The skeptic sets the chisel to the head of the matter, sends that head flying to the ground, and the audience is captivated.  But why not preserve a reality to represent his capacity to chisel?  This was a sort of display that he could not attain because he found sufficient gratification in immediate display and applause.  He probably even worked harder than the artist.  He certainly suffered more, for he has nothing to show in the end.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

a human strategy, aphorism 434


Public: What is added unto me makes me richer.  

Private: What is taken away deepens me.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

skeptics, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 268


We only need look around us and count: Do we have more skeptics who debunk the low than explore the high?

Friday, January 8, 2016

complacency , a human strategy, aphorism 435


Everyone perhaps has the same degree of difficulty.  If it is not an outright opposition, well then it is our own complacency.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

a "realist", The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 269


When one has become a “realist” one has only put a label on one’s head.  The next question is critical, Does one’s realism fear reality or does one’s realism only hide one’s fear of reality?  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

a hero, a human strategy, aphorism 436


One cannot be a hero in one arena without being thought a coward in many others.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The highest type of courage, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 270


The highest type of courage in an aircraft pilot is the calm demeanor and the matter-of-fact tone when he has lost control of his craft and is on his way down.  The highest type of courage in a berserker is frenzy.  Though these are not the same passion, both go by the name of courage.  When the pilot is in a frenzy while on his radio, he is regarded as having yielded to fear – he has panicked.  When the berserker calmly approaches the enemy, he is not yielding to fear, but this is still not the orgy of courage that represents his highest type.  Such calm in the berserker is also not desirable, for only in passionate abandon is surplus strength called up in the midst of overwhelming danger and to a degree that calculation alone can never attain.  The pilot in a frenzied attempt to regain control on the way down cannot exceed accuracy without also falling short of it.  His extra energy is his fear precisely where it would have been courage in the berserker.

As technology continues to encroach on warfare, the berserker’s ideal of bravery and honor will recede, and the pilot’s and commander’s cold calculation will become the ideal responseSoon any hint of passionate courage in our warriors will be seen as just as much of a flaw as that of cowardice: the soldier and the mathematician will arrive at that single point of fearlessness.  The courage to remain reasonable or mere courage?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My discontent with myself?, a human strategy, aphorism 437


My discontent with myself?  And he wants to remove it from me?  What, after I finally have hook and barb to catch new ideas?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Rational morality, The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 271


Rational morality is a dominance standard initiated by the politically inferior.  Establishing it was a matter of expediency, but now that it is established, it is expedient to abolish the notion of expediencyThat is, we accept a bribe: by rejecting expediency the politically superior are demoted to a morally inferior statusWhen this does not gratify us, it at least consoles us ... but at a cost: our new morality has no traction with reality.

If we truly craved a higher standard, how could we exclude honesty?  How could honesty exclude the mechanical view? ... that alignment between mentality and actuality.  Nonetheless, with all our emphasis on reasoning and morality, we divert our attention away from our own motives for their achievement.  A superior reasoning which lies about its own motives for being can only remain morally inferior to yet a higher standard: fearless honesty.  Our unconscious motives first need to be rendered conscious and then they must enter into our strategy ... our morality.  We cannot neglect this mechanical view without tearing Truth out of the heart of Morality ... and yet this is exactly the sacrifice demanded by the public.  And so this honesty too comes with a price: we appear immoral precisely where we have found traction again with reality.