Thu, 02 May 2019 09:05:05 +0100
On rot and retention
Everything rots, and in the end will disappear. What an absurd position for a single individual to be in. Our current science states that heat death is the most probable end event, but does humanity even need the end event. We don't know what caused the end of the bronze age civilisations, we don't know what was lost during the library of Alexandria fire. Humanity is a violent folk anyway, and quite recently has gotten the means for its (and majority of other life on this fun planet) extinction. And I am not speaking about some climate collapse, no - just the usage of weapons that we have at our hands. To add to that - without any political message - capitalism is based on constant crisis and production of trash.
Recently, the Notre-Dame cathedral burned. It was the greatest show of our fear of volatility of old stuff. For me, the most fun part of the fire was the collapse of the neo-Gothic spire. Interestingly, this spire (created in 19th century, was reaction to a literary work by Victor Hugo. The cathedral was not considered of great importance before, just another nice building in Paris. The point at which it set on flames, was just a touch of questioning. Is our history worth something if we do not have the artefacts? Is the worthy of humanity based on some arbitrary alignment of rocks to which some aesthetic value has been given?
Now, many might call this discourse nihilistic. It speaks of worthlessness of human creation, their lives work, and even the lives themselves. What could be the point of living if in the big picture destruction is not only possible, but immanent? I think that suicide is a valid option, and we should not consider it wrong or evil for individual to decide to stop their existence (if it is possible depending on ones theological believes). In this quick parenthesised sentence, I have taken a turn, a turn which returns all the question of loss and rot. It is that, the only answers we can have for them are theological, even if this theology is based on science. Anyways, modern science "gives" us this stoic approach where everything was unchangable anyways and we should not stress about that.
My answer to that, which also must be theological (we should not get pretences of getting above theology, as questions concerning limits of human existence in itself cannot be answered in any other way) is to realise this worthlessness, and create barring it. Create, even for it, show it in our creation, don't be afraid of destruction. Stop the lie of persistence, as nothing is. How fascinating would it be, and what a great lesson would it offer if the Notre Dame had collapsed. It wouldn't lose its historical, cultural value, it would have gained a new one! Of course, it has gained a new one in the fire, but it did not have a full lesson of volatility, as the facade had stayed. We still have in our possession the objection. And even if it had collapsed, some madmen could have rebuilt it, similarly to madmen who decided to rebuild Warsaw after 2nd World War. Rebuilding in my opinion is extremely vulgar act, the will of going back, attempting to keep the status quo, without changes, no lessons taken. Things that stay or are rebuilt, do not give us any lessons, except for the lessons of interpretation, but they do not give much on theology, or metaphysics. Physics do not give us any aesthetic statements.
The negation of the rot is the aforementioned retention. The most vulgar form of retention is the aforementioned rebuilding, reconstruction. It is a pure lie, an attempt of redoing the past, as if there was no lesson. Then, what is the difference that can be given to retention. Retention, comically throughout most of its existence, causes a loss of value as the object becomes obsolete. It is only the most extreme retention which fascinates us, because it breaks the laws of rot and shows that humanity is able to overcome it at least on a small scale. Of course, as any transgression it is deeply erotic and touching, it attempts to allow humans a tiny element of godhood, of greatness, but is this godhood real? I hope we already know the answer to that.
Therefore destroy what you have created, understand that the only eternal things are those which you accept to be eternal in your own mind, as they will be eternal in your perception. Even if they do collapse, they will have this touch of eternity, so secret, so hidden from humans. But this touch is a fake one. And, if there is one of central lessons of philosophy - it is that lying is no use for any worthwhile discourse.